Posted on October 7th, 2014
Do you have a small closet in your home containing extra sheets, towels, cleaning supplies, blankets, pillows, miscellaneous bathroom accessories, extra shampoos and soaps, toilet paper, cleaning rags, tools, table linens and who knows what else? It is typically called a linen closet, and they can get crammed full and out of control before you know it.
To keep things in control, first take inventory of the linen closet’s contents. Decide what makes sense to be stored there and what would likely be better somewhere else. Remove and make a decision about every item in the closet. Do you really need four sets of sheets for your bed? Typically two sets of sheets for each bed is plenty; then you’ll have one set ready to put on the bed while the other is in the wash. Maybe it is time to discard those paper-thin bath towels? Have you even touched those fancy hair products since your children were born? Be realistic about what you really need and remember you will be happier if you can easily find those items.
While the closet is empty give it a good scrub so you can start fresh. If it needs an update, a fresh paint job or even fun shelf paper can make a big change for just a little effort. If you are ready to give your linen closet a complete overhaul, consider adjustable shelves so the closet can be changed as your needs do. If the closet is inside a bathroom, wire shelves might be more practical so linens can have some airflow in a typically damp and dark environment. Under-mount wire baskets and dividers help keep items from tipping over. Small wire shelves can be helpful if you have a deep closet or lots of vertical space. If you also have drawers, like we do, consider making or buying some dividers to keep items in their proper places.
Think about the items that will be returned to the closet and how you might sort and organize them to make storing and finding things easier. Frequently used items should be easy to reach and put away, while off-season items can be stored higher or further in the back. Smaller items can be corralled in trays or baskets, making them quick to remove and find. Sheet sets should be grouped together, and you can even use one of the pillow cases as a bag to contain them. Vintage linens should be wrapped with acid-free tissue paper to prevent discoloration.
Once you put everything in its proper place it just takes a little work to keep it that way. Labels help maintain the order since everyone will know exactly where to return the items. Labels can be as simple as small pieces of washi tape or as elaborate and permanent as metal label holders. To keep the closet smelling fresh, try a box of baking soda or scented sachets. Now pretend you are in a commercial for fresh linens and take a picture of all your hard work as a reminder to keep it that way!
- By Rebecca Hermance for Flourish. Hermance has a master’s degree in interior design from Washington State University. See more of her work at UniquelyYouInteriors.com